Saturday, April 2, 2011

The chore mongers

Oldest daughter and her family came over this morning to help out around the yard.  Just before they arrived Army daughter and her husband left for the gym.  Seems silly to me.  There's so much to do around here that they can have a great workout without ever having to leave home. 

Even the four grandkids came prepared to work.  It was great, between the two grandkids who live here, and the six additional family members who came to work we got an awful lot accomplished.  We cut down a tree and bucked it up into firewood lengths.  The kids moved all 160 landscaping timbers to either the garden or the front yard, depending on where they were directed.  Oldest grandson cut 24 of the timbers in half exactly as needed. 

Lunch for nine was easy.  I emptied the refrigerator of leftovers that Army daughter seems to store up.  The cement pad in front of the garage got swept.  The boys pulled some wood out of the woodpile so tomorrow we can start on the expansion of the chicken coop.  The boys fiddled on their project truck in the side pasture.  The girls helped clean the house. 

Army daughter and her husband arrived home from the gym.  We told them that their dog was sitting in the road watching the cars go by.  Dog wouldn't listen when I told him to get out of the road.  A pickup drove by and the guy got out of his truck to pick up the dog.  He asked if it was ours and I said yes.  He handed the dog over the fence but I could tell he was hoping the dog wasn't ours.  He would have taken it home.  Perhaps I should have let him... (no, I wouldn't do that).  So, daughter decided that it was time to build a pen for the dogs.  She and her husband figured out where it was going to go and asked if they could use my materials.  Sure as long as all I had to do was watch.

Son-in-law got some t-posts, fencing (with 2x4 inch mesh), and a tarp for cover.  They put the run next to the woodshed and used the framing from the shed to anchor the tarp.  I just sat back and watched.  Son-in-law had never pounded in t-posts.  He got them in nice and straight.  He mentioned that it was a good workout.  Then he brought the roll of fencing over and asked how to cut it.  Sent him to the garage for the lock persuader (I mean bolt cutters).  Gave him a pack of t-post clips and he figured out how to use them.  They couldn't figure out how to make a gate so I gave them a couple of ideas.  They decided to just twist the ends of the wire fencing over the other end of wire fencing.  It works but they will soon figure out something else because that isn't practical to untwist and twist every time they want to get in to the pen.  It was Army daughter's job to put the tarp on for shade.  She showed me her handiwork when she finished.  I laughed out loud.  "What? Don't you like the way I did it?"  No, I didn't think duct taping the tarp to the shed frame was a great idea.  "Why didn't you use the grommets and tie it down?" "I thought the tape was a better idea".  OK.  Until it rains or gets really hot and melts the goo.

After dinner granddaughter and I got onto the tractor to mow the back and front yards.  She got to steer.  I got to step on the accelerator.  She was so excited about driving she wanted to know if she was taking her driving test if she would pass.  Sure.  And you have eight more years until you are 16 so you will have quite a lot of experience between now and then to get even better.

The garden beds need to be finished.  I need to set them up and drill through the two layers then tap a piece of rebar through to keep it together and to anchor it to the ground.  A few years ago I had the opportunity to cheaply acquire several rolls of weed blocking fabric.  It's four feet wide so I am making the rows between the garden beds four feet wide.  I'm going to lay the weed block down then put wood chips on top.  I have a source for free wood chips so they won't cost any more than the gas to go pick them up and buying slurpees for the grandkids who will provide most of the labor.   Not only is the garden going to look nice with the woodchips but it will also help keep the soil from drying out as quickly. 

It's supposed to be cooler tomorrow but still nice; in the low 70s.  Hopefully we will get a lot done.  It was a good day and nobody got hurt.  Can't wait for tomorrow

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